Artificial intelligence in business: Transforming work and innovation

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic concept or niche technology. It is already transforming every aspect of work and society, not only by automating tasks and enhancing efficiency, but also creating new possibilities and opportunities for innovation and growth. 

Time to read: 4 mins

By Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Auckland Audit & Assurance Services senior manager Hari Saparamadu.  

The integration of artificial intelligence in business significantly advanced in 2023, with generative AI emerging as a notable focus. According to a McKinsey Global Survey, a third of organisations are actively using generative AI in business functions. At least 40% of businesses plan to increase their investment in AI. AI can create novel and original content from text, images, audio and video from multiple inputs, and is reshaping how businesses approach data and content creation.

Generative AI is revolutionising business operations by enabling the creation of innovative and customised data-driven content. This technology, exemplified by tools like ChatGPT for engaging conversations and DeepComposer for music creation, is pivotal in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape. The expectation is that AI will streamlines tasks and boosts efficiency but also foster new growth and innovation opportunities.

In the first of a series of articles, we will begin with exploring how businesses are using AI, with a particular focus on the New Zealand market. Let’s get started!

How Businesses Are Using Artificial Intelligence: A New Zealand Perspective

Customer Service

Artificial intelligence is transforming the way businesses interact with their customers in New Zealand. It can provide faster, smarter and more personalised services that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Here are some examples:

  • BNZ, Beca and Genesis Energy: These New Zealand companies are early adopters of Microsoft 365 Copilot, leveraging its generative AI for enhancing productivity. The service integrates with other Microsoft 365 tools, transforming business operations with advanced AI capabilities​.
  • Air New Zealand: The company has a new “Airband” safety-focused solution for unaccompanied minors. Children wear a wristband that sends stage-by-stage journey updates to up to five contacts, ensuring the minor’s safety and giving peace of mind to their guardians.
  • Air New Zealand: In addition, the company’s AI chatbot, Oscar, offers information and assistance to customers through text and voice interactions. Capable of handling routine inquiries like confirming flight status and bookings, Oscar escalates more complex issues to human agents. It also adapts responses based on customer feedback.

Healthcare sector

In New Zealand, the health sector is increasingly incorporating AI technologies to enhance patient care, streamline operations and improve overall healthcare outcomes. The following examples reflect the diverse and impactful ways AI is being integrated into healthcare, from enhancing diagnostic processes to improving patient care and streamlining hospital operations:

  • AI in Diagnosis: AI is extensively used in diagnostics, particularly in disease screening. AI applications have demonstrated effectiveness in this area and are actively deployed to aid in the diagnosis of diseases such as breast cancer (Volpara Health Technologies) and skin cancer (MoleMap). This application of AI significantly enhances the accuracy and speed of diagnoses, thereby improving patient outcomes​.
  • AI in Healthcare: The AI Forum of New Zealand has highlighted several areas where AI is making an impact. These include:
  • Predicting disease and injury: AI algorithms are used for predicting diseases and injuries by analysing patient data and medical records.
  • Mining literature for research insights: AI tools help in researching vast quantities of medical literature to gain insights, which is crucial for medical research and development.
  • Assisting in drug discovery: AI is used in novel drug discovery processes.
  • Augmenting human specialists: This includes tasks like image analysis and robotic surgery, where AI complements the work of human specialists.
  • Automating hospital processes: AI systems are employed to automate various hospital operations, improving efficiency and reducing manual workload.
  • Enhancing doctor-patient Interaction: By automating tasks, AI frees up more time for healthcare professionals to interact with patients, thereby improving the quality of care.
  • Personalised treatment: AI is used to tailor treatments to individual patients based on their unique health profiles.

AI is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different businesses have different needs, goals and challenges, and they use AI in different ways to address them.

Importantly, it is crucial to recognise that AI and technology are not intended to replace the workforce but rather to empower it. These tools serve as catalysts, enhancing creativity, efficiency, and productivity within the workplace. When utilised effectively, AI and technology act as invaluable assets, enabling both employees and businesses to excel and maintain a competitive edge.

Don’t miss our next AI article, where we’ll explore how it’s being used in international business…

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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